1) The Association Board is Committed to Making Something Happen
Back in 2012, the Association explored the idea of upgrading its technological infrastructure. At that time, the Association received proposals from both Cox Communications and AT&T, but then discussions went dark.
Today, the Board is reigniting the conversation. The Board has again received proposals from major providers, but has made it clear that they will be cautious about acting without a complete understanding of the technology, cost implications, and future affect on the community. In July of this year, members of the Board met with leaders in the tech industry at Qualcomm. This led to an open forum at this year’s retreat in September, where members and representatives from tech companies gathered to set the stage for talks of infrastructure upgrades. Several companies are now submitting new proposals to upgrade the Ranch.
2) Fellow RSF Residents are Also Committed to Making it Happen
A group of RSF residents including Fred Luddy, Eoin O’Shea, and Todd Mikles have funded a feasibility study that will explore various options related to making Rancho Santa Fe a ‘Gigabyte” community. They contracted with a company, Magellan Advisors that specializes in fiber-optic network analysis.
Magellan is currently conducting a study on the various technological, funding, and financial related to the installation of a fiber-optic network in the community, whether by a major provider or by the RSF community themselves.
3) Companies and Providers are Showing Strong Interest
As stated earlier, companies are submitting proposals. AT&T gave the Association a preliminary proposal, but the details have not been disclosed. Cox and Time Warner intend to submit their own to the Association soon. Current acting Manager Ivan Holler has been meeting and talking with these companies for the past few months to articulate what the Ranch needs and what the companies have to work with.
Director Philip Wilkinson has also been talking with ExteNet about enhancing its distributed antenna system (DAS) around the Ranch to improve cellular coverage.
4) RSF Community Needs to Keep Its Infrastructure Updated to Raise Home Values
Not having a sufficient home network in this day and age will severely damage the ability of new families to engage in work and leisure. In turn, this has a negative effect on home values and the ability to attract to homeowners.
Therefore, if the community infrastructure is upgraded to have a true high-speed Internet connection, home values will inevitably increase.
5) High-Speed Broadband is the Standard around the United States
Rancho Santa Fe isn’t one to follow the trends of other cities and communities around the country. But the fact that other rural, low-density communities are getting fiber means that high-speed Internet in RSF is not just a dream.
The small rural town of Ephrata, WA for example has a low-density population, but boasts the fastest download speeds in all of the United States. They achieved this through their municipally owned fiber network.
Leverrett, MA and Orono, ME are two other rural communities that now have a municipal fiber network and are able to provide true high-speed Internet to its residents
6) A Fiber-Optic Network Provides the Infrastructure for Better Cell Coverage
Fiber provides the fastest Internet speeds possible, but it can also be used as the backbone for cellular service. Both DAS and small cell systems can use fiber to provide the strongest and most reliable signals possible. Some companies, such as AT&T and Verizon only accept fiber backhaul for their cell towers.